"Mothers work wonders once they are convinced that wonders are demanded of them." ~Charlotte Mason

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fall Co-op Schedule

We registered for our fall co-op on Saturday! We were able to get many of the classes we wanted, and we are very excited to start next week! Below are the classes the kids have chosen:

Baloo: Physics, Liberty or Death, Chess, & Whose Line Is It Anyway
Because Physics is an extra-long class, he only gets 4 classes. He is taking Spanish I at another co-op, and all the rest of his credit classes will be taken at home.

Padme: Dance, Watercolor Painting, French & Italian Foods, Cheers & Cartwheels, Made by Hand (a crafts class that looks really great)

Lil Yoda: Adventures in Africa (Grandma Lori's class), Dance, Sewing, Cheers & Cartwheels, Body & Bones

Because this is Wendy, Angel & Dora's first semester at co-op and because they tend to be shy in new situations, I decided to put them in classes all together. Next semester I will probably give them a little more free rein in choosing their classes. They are taking:

Adventures in Africa (with Lil Yoda, taught by Grandma Lori), On the Ball (P.E.), Acting Out (taught by me), Math Games & Tricks (also taught by me) and Lego Creations.

This should be a fun semester at co-op! I am only teaching 2 classes, both 1st-3rd grade level. I normally like to teach high school, but wanted to back off some this semester so I can spend more time with my new family. The other 3 classes periods I will be assisting in preschool.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Locks of Love, Take Two

Wendy, Angel and Dora decided they wanted to cut their hair, and donate it to Locks of Love as Padme and Lil Yoda did last summer. Actually, Wendy wanted to get her hair cut first, in honor of her ninth birthday.  She thought short hair would make her look older (she was right, don't you think?).  When Angel & Dora saw how quickly she was able to brush her hair in the mornings (10 seconds, max), they begged to cut their hair as well!  I think they all turned out pretty cute!
Angel donated 14 inches!  She also cut bangs, which has been great because she had all of these "baby hairs" that were just long enough that they were constantly in her mouth! 
Doesn't she look so cute with bangs?

Dora donated 11 inches!  She was not even scheduled for a haircut, but our sweet hairdresser had an open time slot after Angel's, and Dora begged and begged to have hers cut as well!  
Doesn't she just look adorable?

Wendy cut 14 inches, too!  Of course you have seen her haircut already, in her birthday post.  We think she looks so beautiful and grown up, and she really can have her hair fixed in 10 seconds!  This is a great hairstyle - it just won't mess up!  Good choice, Wendy!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Our Summer in Review

Following is a list of our summer activities, in case anyone ever claims our kids never get out of the house:

Vacation Bible School
A week at Mema & Poppie's
Gymnastics - lots of it! (camp & classes)
Dallas Zoo
Sandy Lake Park
Dallas Arboretum
High School Musical on Tour
Hawaiian Falls
Medieval Times
The Reptile Guy (He brought about 30 reptiles, amphibians, insects & spiders for us to see & touch!)
Group Dynamix - team building & lots of games!
High Touch High Tech science class
Bounce Houses galore, including jousting, huge slides & rock climbing!
Laser tag
We went to the movies every week, and sometimes shopped at the mall while we were there!
Swimming at least twice/week
Swimming at local water park with water slides, lazy river, etc.
Plus the usual playing or sleeping over at friends' houses, etc. Our boat wasn't working this summer, so that was a bummer, but we still got to play down at the lake in our backyard!
We had lots of friends and family visit us as well!

We really had an awesome summer! We have now finished our 2nd week of school, and are glad we have such fantastic memories of our first summer with our new girls! Next summer looks to be even better!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Term 1, Week 1 Review

WOO-HOO!!!!! We have completed our first week of the new school year! I am pleased to report that, by the grace of God and with His help, I can, in fact, homeschool six children! Yay!!! The children did very well, overall. For the most part, I think I selected the correct levels for the new children, which is a big relief. The children are all enjoying their schoolwork, and I think this will be a very successful year! We are certainly off to a great start.

I have added to the margin a list of the books that the kids are reading. We use the Ambleside Online curriculum. Baloo is beginning Year 11, Padme and Lil Yoda are beginning Year 4, and Wendy, Angel and Dora are beginning Year 1. These do not necessarily correlate to grade levels, but do correspond to reading ability. I use the online curriculum as a guideline, then make additions, substitutions and adjustments as needed, based on the children's abilities as well as book availability. Because we have an extensive library, I will sometimes substitute an equivalent book we already own, rather than purchasing the new book listed in the curriculum.

The books listed in the margin include history, science, literature, geography, good citizenship and church history. In addition to these, the children do work each week in the following books:


Easy Grammar Plus

Current Events

Famous Speeches

Famous Essays and Short Stories

Building Thinking Skills



The Language Mechanic (Grammar)


Phonetics Zoo, Level B (Phonics & Spelling)

Building Thinking Skills Level 2

Math U See, Epsilon


Explode the Code Book 3 (Phonics & Spelling)

Jump-Start 2nd Grade Grammar

My D’Nealian Handwriting Word Book, Grades K-1
Building Thinking Skills, Primary (Grades K-1)

Math U See, Beta

Lil Yoda:

Daily Grams for 2nd & 3rd Grade (Grammar)

A Reason for Handwriting, Book D

Phonetics Zoo, Level A (Phonics & Spelling)

Logic Countdown

Math U See, Delta


Explode the Code, Book 2 (Phonics & Spelling)

Learning Horizons 2nd Grade Language

Modern Manuscript Handwriting Practice, Grades 1-2
Hands-On Thinking Skills, Grades K-1

Math U See, Beta


Explode the Code, Book 1 (Phonics & Spelling)

Instructional Fair Grammar, Grades 1-2

Capital & Lowercase Letters, PK-1
Hands-On Thinking Skills, Grades K-1

Math U See, Alpha

In addition, we do group studies together. This 12-week term we are studying:

Artist Sandro Botticelli

Composer Johann Sebastian Bach

Hymns: A Mighty Fortress is Our God
Now Thank We All Our God
The Lord’s My Shepherd

Folk Songs: Camptown Races

Bill Grogan's Goat

The Crawdad Song

English From the Roots Up (Greek & Latin roots)

Lyric Language Italian, Spanish & French

Baloo works part-time and is a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. The girls all participate in gymnastics classes each week. In addition, Lil Yoda will soon begin Tae Kwon Do lessons and the new girls will begin ballet & tap. Padme wants to begin competitive horseback riding, but we are still looking into that. I hope to get all the kids back into piano lessons very soon, and Baloo would like to take guitar lessons again, as well. All of these things cost money, so we are waiting on the Lord's provision for these "extras". Right now we are spending our time getting to know one another better!

We will begin our Friday co-op classes in a few weeks. Registration isn't for two more weeks, so we don't yet know which classes the kids will be able to get into. Baloo is pre-registered for Physics but that's all we know for certain, yet. He will also take Spanish classes from a Spanish tutor, beginning in September.